Richard Pryor died yesterday of a heart attack. His comedy set the stage for a whole slew of comedians like Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock who told jokes about the differences between whites and blacks. Although many chastised he and his disciples for their use of profanity and the fact that their jokes hindered racial progress, I feel that, by pointing out our differences and exagerating them, they helped us to realize the frivolity of racism. As a quote from a GRITS track points out, “both whites and blacks who are most interested in bringing about racial equality shy off certain facts that deserve recognition. There are cultural differences, a truth that not only supports integration, but will help bring about honest equality. This is, after all, the ultimate goal of integration.” We shouldn’t ignore our differences or hate each other because of them. We should just realize that we are different and there’s not one thing wrong about it.
May Richard Pryor Rest in Peace.